A Harare man accused of stealing $50 000 from Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri in a botched solar power system deal at his farm has a case to answer, a Harare magistrate has said.

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Air Marshall Perence Shiri
Air Marshall Perrance Shiri

Brian Tarisai Kambasha is charged with theft of trust property and his company, Hemmingworth (Pvt) Ltd, was cited as the second respondent.

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Kambasha had made an application for discharge at the close of the State’s case before magistrate Mr Milton Serima.

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Magistrate Mr Serima dismissed the application after ruling Kambasha had a case to answer and must be put to his defence.

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He said prosecutors Mr George Manokore and Miss Sharon Mashavira proved a prima facie case against Kambasha and his company.

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“After hearing submissions from both counsels, the court is convinced that the State managed to prove its case against the accused. The application is therefore dismissed,” he said.

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Mr Serima remanded the matter to Thursday.

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It is the State’s case that in April 2013, Kambasha approached Air Marshal Shiri and proposed a solar power pilot project at his Hopedale Farm in Bindura.

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The court heard that Kambasha indicated that the project involved three stages. Air Marshal Shiri agreed to have the first phase of the project undertaken at his farm at a cost of $50 125.

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On June 7, 2013 Air Marshal Shiri entered an agreement to pay the money in instalments.

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It is alleged that Kambasha only mounted metal stands for the plant and converted the money to personal use. After two weeks Air Marshal Shiri approached Kambasha who gave him excuses.

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He allegedly failed to install the plant or reimburse the money, leading to his arrest on December 12 last year. The Herald